Derry official: No standing water ordinance
DERRY - Derry will likely not follow the example of Plaistow and Manchester and enact a standing water ordinance to help control mosquito-borne illnesses.
At a Sept. 20 Town Council meeting, Cilley Road resident Scott Dellisola suggested the town look at an ordinance imposing fines for people who leave stagnant pools of water in their yards.
Assistant Town Administrator Larry Budreau said he did a brief survey of surrounding towns and found that Manchester and Plaistow have a similar ordinance.
'The Manchester ordinance has no specific fines, allowing for discretion,' said Budreau. 'Plaistow has a $100 fine.'
Although Plaistow has the fine, Budreau said the town has never imposed that fine.
Derry sprayed for mosquitoes this year at a number of public parks and schools. The mosquito spraying is conducted by Dragon Mosquito of Brentwood.
Budreau said he understood Dellisola's concerns about mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus and EEE, but said the dangers are not as severe as portrayed by Dellisola.
Of the mosquito pools tested by the state's Department of Health, Budreau said less than 1 percent tested positive for West Nile Virus and EEE.
'There was one human case of West Nile Virus and zero of EEE this year,' he said.
Budreau also said that according to Dragon Mosquito, the mosquitoes that carry EEE breed in swamps, not in standing water.
After talking to the town health department and Dragon Mosquito, Budreau said he believes the town is best served by not having a standing water ordinance on the books.
'Enforcing the ordinance would be very difficult,' he said. 'We'd much rather go and talk to people and convince them not (to have standing water). The threat of a fine would not be recommended.'